Vector leaving airport this summer

Published 12:56 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Employees told Tuesday local facility will close by June

Local employees of Vector Aerospace were informed on Tuesday that StandardAero will close the Andalusia facility by the end of June.

Kyle Hultquist, senior vice president of marketing and communications, for StandardAero, said employees were informed in a face-to-face meeting.

StandardAero determined that the business case for continuing to operate the Andalusia site is no longer economically viable for the company and its investors, he said.

Given the loss of our primary contract, the current and future work volumes do not support the fixed costs necessary to operate the facility, he said. The business is experiencing significant losses, with no feasible path to profitability, he said, adding that the limited pipeline for new business opportunities, have contributed to this difficult decision.

“We intend to close the facility by the end of June and we will also be exploring other alternatives to sell or dispose of business assets prior to that time,” he said. “This decision in no way reflects negatively on the hard working and dedicated employees at our facility. We are very proud of the outstanding service we have provided customers at Andalusia and will continue to serve our helicopter customers at other company facilities. “

Hultquist said that in the next two months, Vector will operate in a business-as-usual manner to complete its current projects.

“ Over the next few weeks, we will maintain as many employees as necessary to ensure customers are properly supported,” he said. “All impacted employees will be receiving the full support of StandardAero to find open positions at other StandardAero locations and providing a variety of company-funded redeployment, outplacement assistance and transition services.”

In 2016, Vector Aerospace extended its lease at the South Alabama Regional Airport for five years, with a three-year renewal clause.

The operation, formerly known as AcroHelipro before it was rebranded as Vector in 2008, started local operations with two employees. At the time the lease was extended in 2016, the company had more than 100 employees.

At the 2008 grand opening of its 38,000 square foot facility attended by then-Gov. Bob Riley, the company was already planning an expansion. That expansion began in 2011.

The company’s lease, renegotiated in 2016, has a 12-month exit clause. The company paid $25,000 per month for the facility, located in the industrial park at South Alabama Regional Airport.